five red tulips in a white pot V

I’m revisiting my “five red tulips in a white pot” series to finish it, and in response to Tuesday’s dVerse prompt  “songs of unreason“.  The challenge is to use one of the specified lines from Jim Harrison as an epigraph. I chose: 

“After last night’s storm the tulip petals are strewn across the patio where they mortally fluttered.”- Church, Jim Harrison


The flame-filled cups have fallen
scattered and spilt
like drops of blood on the porch,
soon dried and scuffed away.
The Persian-green foliage,
bleached to palest straw,
was carried off
by the summer wind.
Now just the five pale bulbs remain,
safe-hidden for their nine month wait,
in their russet-brown wrapping paper
soil-slumbering in the white pot.


Filed under poem

35 responses to “five red tulips in a white pot V

  1. I see every bit of this in my mind. It makes me think of what’s snug under the snow that will soon awake.

  2. If only we renewed ourselves as those pretty tulips do! Very nicely done.

  3. A great poem. Bulbs are a wonderful part of nature.

  4. This is so lovely Kate. I love the colours and the imagery. Super evocative. Just out of interest… your house isn’t strawbale is it? The corner of the building behind the pot in the photo looks kind of rounded and uneven like my parents’ place.

    • I just read your poem for this prompt… You’re just so masterly with metaphor and finding a memorable turn of phrase. I’m jealous 🙂
      Yes, it is strawbale, well spotted! It’s brilliant thermally – but the sand render is not the most robust. There are quite a few damaged spots, including where the pig likes to nap against the house and scrapes it with her toenails when she dreams. So your parents have strawbale as well?

      • Thank you for your very kind words about my poetry. Yes, my parents built a strawbale “temporary” dwelling in 1997/8. It is still standing but has large holes in the lime render where something has gone in to nest? Goannas? Rodents? Possums? Not sure. Something that can climb the rough render. Initially they didn’t render but the horses and wombats used to eat the straw. LOL Anyway, now they’ve built a much bigger more permanent house, also from straw. I love the thick walls and deep window sills and the organic curvy feel to the walls. Most of the internal walls aren’t straw though. Just took up too much space. They did some sort of lath arrangement – I can’t remember. But the pantry is right in the centre of the house with strawbale walls. It’s fabulous. The whole house has a lovely atmosphere. And as you say – very thermally efficient. Their first house featured in a book brought out by Earth Garden Magazine in 2000.

        • Having horses eating the house is very funny 😀 But having creatures burrowing into the walls not so good!
          The internal faces of the external walls of our place are the same sandy render as the outside, but the actual internal walls are just timber-frame plasterboard like any other house. Strawbale internal walls would certainly take up a huge amount of space.
          That’s very cool having their house featured in a book. We looked at a few before deciding to go with strawbale in 2006 – I wonder if we saw it.

        • You looked at a few books or a few houses? My parents attended a number of strawbale building workshops… helping others build their houses. We, of course, helped build theirs. LOL. It was kind of fun. Especially the rendering.

        • A few books. We didn’t build our place ourselves, although we did most of the fitting out including floors, benches (ex-ANU lab benches) etc, and scavenging fittings like windows and doors.
          We thought about it, and decided we didn’t have the skills, or the time. It would have taken too many years with just working on it on weekends and holidays. I really admire anyone game enough to build their own house – I’d like to give it a go eventually.

  5. An apt metaphor for the cycle of life. Beautiful.

  6. This is lovely, Kate. My wife also loves tulips… and she has the patience to wait for them 🙂

    Much love,

  7. Life, death, and rebirth all in one tiny bulb. Love this!

  8. Oh yes.. the tulip has its way of keep on returning.

  9. sanaarizvi

    Super palpable imagery here, Kate! *swoon* 💝💝

  10. Ain

    Five pale bulbs, forgotten, hidden, and one day, they will change all you described, lovely little verse..

  11. The cycle of life … a beautiful write!

  12. Pingback: five red tulips in a white pot V – Nelsapy

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